View Full Version : Converting 35mm slides, prints and negatives to digital

09-05-2004, 02:24 PM
I am seeking advice on products and approach for converting my pictures to digital format. I have a disorganized collection of hundreds of 35mm color slides and 35mm color and B&W prints and negatives. My primary goals are to create an organized and easily accessible digital archive, and to digitally enhance selected images to display in my home as 8x10 prints. I want excellent image quality, but do not need professional-level results. Perhaps Ďadvanced amateurí quality best describes what I want.

I welcome recommendations concerning:
1. Software for labeling and organizing the archive to allow expansion over time, as well as easy search and retrieval of images.
2. Scanner type and model
3. Image resolution and format
4. Digital photo editing program
5. Backup storage medium, e.g. CD vs. DVD, etc.
6. Mistakes to avoid, based on your experience.

06-26-2005, 01:27 PM
would like to know if anyone has an answer to jerrys questions. i am having the same difficulty, i want to convert 35 mm photo negatives to digital, but wnat some good qaulity and be able to edit and enlarge the pics, say to 16 by 20. I know how the conversion works for audio, but am a litttle unsure on how it works for pictures.. like what dpi is, and how many is good, the formats, compressed jpg and tiff, ?
i would be using photo shop.. and the local staores are of no help, like those machines that you can make prints from, and the people at these stores dont really understand, at least in my experience, hope someone can help me.... thx


06-29-2005, 11:43 AM
Again you may start to understand me a bit more now as my answer to this again is " I did do this but do not really have time"; so many things to do and so little time to do them in, perhaps I better give up some hobby or other :rolleyes:

I brought a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual III about 3 years ago with the intention of scanning my fathers 35mm slide collection into my PC.

The scanner installed OK, software installed OK and it worked straigt away.
There are two methods to do things - easy using a "wizzard" and more involved. Again I forget the DPI but I think to myself "why not go for the highest setting now and just do this the once". But it starts eating up the hard drive and again from my leaky memory I could only save about 20 of these scans to a CDR.

The negative and slide holders come with the scanner and work great, although the slides in plastic mounts rather than cardboard mounts should not really be used in the holder supplied as they are a bit thick, if you give them a push they will go in.

Thats all I can think of for now, as I said at the start it is time consuming although resonably straight forward and the scanner has not been unpacked since we moved house.


Geoff Chandler
07-11-2005, 02:56 PM
This is my 2nd attempt - I wrote a long note and it told me it was an invalid page and I lost everything!!
This subject is a jar of worms - I won't pretend to have the final answer!
So I will be more brief than my lost reply!
I bought an Epson Perfection Photo 1660 ( I think!) about 2 - 3 years back.
I chose it as it did negs and Slides as well as flat bed and was labeleled 'Heavy Use' - I cannot recommend anyparticular model - I suggest read some reviews - have a look in some shops - ask questions in the shop, check the speed and the resolution - go for as high as you can - though you don't have to use that all the time.
A 6x4 print at around 300-400dpi is a similar sized image as a Slide at 1200 - 1600 dpi - this is because the slide is much smaller and will require finer scanning to achieve the resolution - that said Slides will give the best image.
whilst on the subject of image resolution - most of my negs & slides are scanned at 1600dpi - similar in size to a 3mp picture - but maybe a bit finer. Often I have found 3200dpi images appear softer - maybe needing a touch of sharpening afterwards. I save as JPG anything more creates huge file sizes. Check the quality of the image you are scanning and dont waste high resolution on a mediocre slide.
Well - my collection of negs and prints and slides are all in chaos - so I am scanning them as they come - first into a temp folder until saved onto CD - noting whats on the CD - I then organise them out of the temp folder into years and topics. It is my intention later when I am finished to re-back them up in a more organised fashion.
Note - don't ditch anything until a backup onto CD or DVD has been made - hard drives die!
I am told DVD is better as it will store more - I haven't gone there yet.
Phot editing program is a must - maybe even more than one - I have several.
Apparently Adobe Photo shop is the business. Photo shop and Paint shop pro are pretty good, I have Serif which is similar and I like it as it has preview screens to check each affect before applying.
I hope this is of some help - hopefully a few others will give some advice / experience.
Good Luck


07-18-2005, 09:53 AM
As far as storage is concerned, I would recommend an external hard drive. I have the Western Digital 250 GB and it works well. I use it to back up my C-Drive automatically each night. The reason I suggest an external hard drive is that the CD and DVD format will change, but your external hard drive will always be capable of copying your files to whatever media is the latest thing.

As for a software program to manage those files, try Picasa2, a free program by Google that works like a charm.

As for a scanner, I've had tremendous success using Epson Scanners. My older model is the 1200-U, which came with an attachment for slides and negatives.